Uranium Mining. LIFE Magazine 7/19/54 - Urani-yummy!

Around 1950, there was a bit of another "gold rush" out west, thanks to the advent of nuclear weapons. But, replace "gold" with "uranium". Also , replace it with "mental impairment, diarrhea, and good old cancer". The American drive to get your "piece of the pah" drove lots of people to go uranium prospecting. here in The Future, we all go "double-you tee eff?" at the thought of digging up uranium with your bare hands, carrying it with your bare hands, and looking at it with your bare eyeballs, but apparently, nobody had a problem with it at the time.

Below, please find the complete article from the July 19, 1954 article in LIFE magazine on the boom. Note the total lack of any mention of health risks related to uranium exposure.

How dangerous is uranium? Well, it's bad for you, to be sure, but not face-meltingly bad, like waltzing into the Fukushima facility. Uranium screws you up in slower-acting ways that aren't immediately obvious. Things like increased incidences of skin rash, lung cancer, and diuresis. The biggest threat was from radon gas, which is released by uranium during extraction. Out in the open, it tends to dissipate, but in a confined space like a large-scale mine, it can collect and eff you up pretty badly in the form of hugely increased lung cancer risk. But again, this doesn't show up for years, and at the time, everyone thought it was hunky-dory. Note: Yes, these links are from Wikipedia. Scroll top the bottom of the Wikipedia page for lots and lots of references and links to studies.

Why didn't the recognize any danger? They knew it was going to be weaponized for use in nuclear arms. Did they believe it was safe in low doses? I never made it without biting. Ask Mister Owl.

Anyway, here's the article. Click each one for a more bigger-er version... as if you didn't know.

The picture of the two guys eating "Uranium Burgers" is too juicy to pass up. Doesn't it need a few jokes?

Joke #1 - "I know that when I put this burger in my mouth, the Matrix is telling me that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years of prospecting, you know what I realize? My sperm feel funny."

Joke #2 - After two weeks, the Uranium Grill was fined by the DOE for using less-than-advertised levels of uranium in the food.

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post. -Mgmt.]


Fil said...

Phil, I think the owners of the Geiger Counter Cafe missed a chance at signage gold. They should have written:
"Urani-YUM Burger"
Who was the ad-wizard that dropped the ball on that one?

BrainThought said...

I like to go in on Fridays for the Plutonium Burgers.

"You mean these burgers are nuclear?!?"

No, no, these burgers are electrical. But I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity...

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Fil: Tell me about it (see title of the post). Great minds and all that. Huge missed opportunity on the part of the cafe's proprietor. Then again, this was the manager of a diner in rural Utah. How clever can we expect he/she to be?

Brain: I like what you did there with the BTTF reference. Well joked!

Thanks guys!


Fil said...

Wow, youre right! great minds DO... something, something! I think I'll get the 'fission chips'.

Anonymous said...

So wish I'd seen the uranium burger pics when I created SludgeBurger ... I'd have put them up on the walls as decorations:

Great entry, I enjoyed it much!

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